Copyright 101

With technology today, copyrighting is made a whole lot easier todo, even if one does not mean to do it. Once a person writes something on paper or posts something on a website, they own the copyright to it. This is a way of protecting ones original work, and giving them the rights to do what they wish with it. They have the right to do things like; make copies, pass out copies and even display their work to the public.

  • What the four tests for fair use involves;

When using others work, we need to be careful and make sure that we are not using to much. There are many guidelines to follow to make sure that one does not copyright. The four test for fair use involves; making sure that the materials being used for a non commercially in an institution of education. What is the nature of the work that one is copying? Is it creative or just facts? Facts can not be protected but the expression on them can. How much of the work is being used? Are you using a lot or a little? The more you copy the higher of the chances you have of copyrighting. You can only copy 10% of whatever you are copying for it to be ok. Is what you are copyrighting taking away from the owners sale? Commercial intent is looked down upon because you are taking away sales from the original owner and doing something else with it.

  • Why the type of media involved matters;

Educators must realize these different rules and guide lines and follow them so they do not get in trouble. Different types of media have many different copyright rules. For print materials, educators can have one copy of the print and can make one copy per each student. However there may be limitations on how long that they can use the copied material. For video tapes, educators may use the tapes only if it relates directly to the lesson, but they must have a public performance license. To use these different materials one must cite all the sources they use and show who the copyrighter is. To use others materials, one must ask for permission to use the material. Knowing what type of media and the different guidelines for each will help educators know how much they can use and  show to their students.



One thought on “Copyright 101

  1. We really do have to be the models of good copyright practices: it is theft, after all. I do appreciate your statement that we, as teachers, do have a little more latitude with fair use laws- but it ultimately comes down to you, standing over the copy machine or downloading a program, to make the choice.

    I like the clarity of your writing. My suggestion to you is to find ways to incorporate more hyperlinks from the resources from class, course websites, or other sites you find into your postings. It will strengthen your arguments and provide resources for you to use in the future (when you are much more pressed for time). Nice posting here.


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